Make Ugly Work: Get Out of Creative Block

Make ugly work. I’m convinced this is the only way out.

As my favourite writer Seth Godin puts it,

There’s no such thing as creative block. We creatives made it up and chose to accept it so that we could find a way to hide. 

Don’t think so? 

I work in a restaurant (when I’m not working on the Habit Factory of course), and there isn’t a day where staff can reasonably call in and say, “Sorry I can’t come into work, I’m having cook’s block/cashier’s block/server’s block”.

When your heater stops working and you call the electrician, you expect them to be there for you. 

When you sign up for a course, your instructor doesn’t tell you, “Hey class, I’m having teacher’s block this week so please teach yourselves.”

However for some reason when it comes down to writing, drawing, making art, designing new things, the expectations for creatives become flimsy. It’s okay to say you’re stuck in a rut and can’t contribute anything for months on end (except you can). 

The only thing you need to do to get out of creative block is this: 

Make ugly work, constantly, and intentionally. 

Through doing ugly work, we get back into the process of creating—the very thing we stop doing when we hit “creative block”. 

Work that’s ugly is better than no work at all. Make ugly work and get out of your creative block. 

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